Sunday, May 31, 2009

on the verge of june, part II


Under the chestnut tree at Rosendal, Djurgården


Somewhat spoilt garden view at Waldemarsudde, ginormous cruise ship making Finland ferries Vikingline looking almost dainty.


A view of the southern heights of Stockholm, from Waldemarsudde, Djurgården


Gorgeous tulips at Waldemarsudde and ...


... a couple of pretty benches perfect for contemplation


Cute Café Ektorpet in its lush garden under renovation will open for the season on June 2 serving freshly made waffles with strawberry jam and whipped cream


One of my favourite things about walking the streets of any town, village is people watching. And who could resist getting a snapshot of this couple in hats who clearly had made an effort outfit wise? When our paths crossed they were slightly worried I had tried and capture a couple of trolls, when I explained I thought they looked really sweet they were ever so pleased. So, I hope you had a lovely day at the museum, Mr and Mrs Matching Hats.

mother's day

Today is Mother's Day in Sweden. One of those hyped, highly commercialized days I can't stand in general. If your mother is of the sweet and truly well meaning kind, then of course she should be treasured every day, all year round. I usually never get my mother gifts on Mother's Day. Since I prefer to treat her nicely and give her gifts any other day than that. Because any other day I want to and not because there's some commercial hullabaloo surrounding one particular day a year.

This year she will however get something from the daughter that think she's the best (most days), just because I happened to stumble over something wee perfect recently and just because she deserves it, for a whole lot of reasons. The wee gift is a set with a lovely Swedish handmade soap and a matching scented candle from one of my favourite brands for just that, soaps and scented candles, Klockargården.


Mammas Egen Tvål = Mother's Own Soap, with angel scent and the scented candle Mammas Kök = Mother's Kitchen. And yes, some herbal tea, rosehip and cranberry from Clipper. I think she'll appreciate the thought and the treat, as any day is mother's day.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

on the verge of june, part I


I may not be the world's best garden weeder, but I have been known to now and then weed my old photos - as old and tired hard drives give major paws up for that - my latest endeavour has brought me to July 2008. And since pictures never lie - well, of course they do, but not in this case I'm sure - I can safely ascertain that the Stockholmian spring season was about 3-4 weeks earlier last year. Lilacs, tulips, dandelions and so forth, way over and done with by now, last year, almost the same with both peonies and rhododendron. I'm quite pleased we can still enjoy some sweet abundance of these beauties still, this year. Exquisite shades of pink, things don't get much prettier than this...


More glimpses of Stockholm on the verge of June, 2009, as follows ~


Lazying with dog or playing ball in Vasaparken, that is the question (I totally know what my choice would be) - in one of the houses to the right lived writer Astrid Lindgren


Splish splash, more fun in the sun, sweet looking daisy fountain at Norra Bantorget


A fraction of a whole lot of geese at Djurgården


Kaknästornet (cake nose tower) glimpse on a rainy day (and really, can anyone make sure that the house to the right move asap to the garden of mine?)


Too salty potato leek soup at Rosendal Garden Café, but the bread was divine (so thought the birds), the place and the company kept quite quite decent too


A bit of tulip diversity still at Rosendal


Behold the golden chain tree gate to the not so secret garden of Rosendal on a rainy day

Friday, May 29, 2009

this is a corner of a larger field


Art in the green, stating the obvious in quite a charming way. The outdoors exhibition at Rosendal's garden - with art and installations from 13 different artists - revolves around change, transience, recycling. Shown at the Rosendal's garden vast area from May 15 - Oct 3, 2009.


Go ahead and have yourselves a lovely weekend, however, with whomever furry fluff you chose to spend it ~


Thursday, May 28, 2009

eating out - the plough inn, yorkshire, england


Time to share some mouthwatering memories of a place we keep returning to whenever we find ourselves in the vicinity of York, Yorkshire - which is far too seldom if you ask me, and of course you are - the pub The Plough Inn in Allerthorpe.


The place - busy but friendly -, the village, the table by the street overlooking quaint houses, a village hall with a lovely blue door and impressively large trees that are always jam packed with chirping invisible to the eyes wee birds, early evening, sunsettish, waiting for the food just ordered enjoying a decent cider... that's relaxation, just perfectly being in the there and then. The best kind of holiday imaginable has begun.


: Hey, little chirpers :IMG_3689

And as with most British pubs there's a pleasing amount of vegetarian choices on the menu. This mushroom Stroganoff with veggies on the side was quite lovely. And so was the dessert - one which I had remembered fondly for some years since the previous visit, gosh, was it the perfect ending to the meal to find it still being on the menu, or what! - butterscotch cheesecake. Simply heavenly melt on your tongue delicious.


If you find yourself in the vicinity of Allerthorpe, please stop by, say hallo to the chirping birdies, the blue door and give my fondest regards to the vegetarian side of the menu. Especially one cheesecake named butterscotch.

the garden state

Just a wee update on the state of my garden, these shivering last days before late spring (May)turns into proper summer (June) ~


lilacs shrubs still looking mighty good,
generously sharing its gorgeous fragrance


one peony being promisingly buddy,
dandelions fading as well as seeding (sigh)


rhododendron one pink and...


... one whitish, showing promise


honeysuckle - ah the scent that will fill the air
after the lilacs have withered...


all and all, state of the garden seems
rather fine, despite lack of weeding ~

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

mister pip

This short book review isn't going to be about "Great Expectations", a book which I haven't read myself, at least I can't seem to remember reading it, if I had surely I would have remembered? Seen a few movies based on the book though, of which neither made an impression. The story about Pip never captured me and be as that may with the book's supposedly greatness, somehow I don't think reading it would make any difference. For me.

But reading, hearing, learning about and believing in Pip made a lot of difference for both the main character in the book "Mister Pip" by New Zealand author Lloyd Jones, 13 year old Matilda, her friends, family and the villagers on a tropical island under siege and blockade during a civil war in the early 1990ies. Sadly good intentions, reading and learning lead to tragedy in the shadows of coconut trees, foliage and the singing of tropical birds.

It was a well written, easy and reasonably interesting read. But like the story of Pip and his great expectations has never captured me, apart from a few word-painting passages, unfortunately neither did "Mister Pip", awardwinning or not. In short, for me, my expectations were greater than than the actual reading of the story.

three necklaces


These pieces from the studio of undersigned have now moved to a new home. Here's to a long and happily worn life for all three ~



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

new-ish hair

Not exactly a world turning brand new hair cut for me, but just what I wanted (needed) and I hereby want to share the fact that I seriously dig the way the refreshing, cut, dash colour and, above all, the styling turned out today.


As one might have guessed (by now), I'm equally non-digging when it comes to taking pictures of myself, so this is all that'll be shared as far as photographic evidence goes. Trust me when I say it looks way better in mirror or irl than on photo. But the lilacs do make an awesome backdrop, don't you think.

Now there'll be two-three days of immensely enjoying the style - which by the way is spot on how I looked when I was seven years old and had my school photo taken, my mother finds it highly amusing - before it's hair wash time. And since I'm neither as talented nor as patient as hairdresser there won't be any seriously groovy flat iron styling going on with new-ish haircut after that. Most probably there'll be a a lot of tulip with family scarves going on hairwise instead.


For now though, I am so very pleased with the way it looks. Always seven years old at heart.

the 2009 king's meadow lily field


This post will be all about fritillarias - or the much, much prettier Swedish name being Kungsängslilja = King's Meadow Lily - and the gorgeous field of them growing wild outside the town of Uppsala (some miles north by car from Stockholm). The field being the real deal, the original Kungsängen (King's Meadow) now nature reserve. A peaceful haven outside the busy city that, if you open your mind, still reminiscence of past times and Carl von Linné.




I have a few of these beauties in my garden, but even if their delicate beauty is treasured the can't really compare with the experience of a whole, vast field of these exquisite bells waving in the wind.



As I mentioned the other day, I'm so pleased we did get there in time to really enjoy the plethora still in bloom this year. Now I finally and completely get what all the fuss is about. It was simply wonderful and awe inspiring.


After having been quite the daring photographer, crawling through grass and close mud, almost spraining my ankles trying to capture the beauty of the King's Meadow Lilies, I also learnt a very important lesson.


One should never ever hand over the camera to untrustworthy people when climbing a stile. Since the urge for such persons to snickering sneeringly capture the once daring photographer now the daring climber in unflattering ways seem to be just irresistible.


Other posts about fritillaria -

paradise pottery

Paradis (yes, as in paradise) is the name of a Swedish pottery company, run by a couple with the name... Paradis. They make ceramic pieces (an now also glass) in most every colour of the rainbow including the more serene, pale end of the colour scale. Most pieces - both useful and the more eye candy type - seem to be made in inviting, friendly shapes. And with an overall feeling of inspiration from nature.


Myself , or my cupboards, really don't need anymore pottery or dishes, so I rarely glance at these things anymore. But if I was to get something colourful and sweet and of Swedish design for someone special I would certainly have a look at ceramics from Paradis.

Because I do treasure my four items from Paradis, they've been with me for many, many years - two hanging flower pots (they hang in the kitchen window) with sheep, the jug in the same sheep series and one of their famous candle balls (for tea lights).


The prices range from reasonable to high depending on design and retailer. The not always reasonable prices might have something to do with the fact that the company also is purveyor to the court.

Their only-in-Swedish website does unfortunately leave a lot to be desired, the more useful information is meager, but you can at least have a look at some of their work. And if you fancy an outing this summer I think their factory shop (possibly with a café) on the island of Öland is rather lovely. It's been close to 20 years since I visited the place, but if the photos at the website are anything to go by not a lot has changed. In this case that being a good thing.

Monday, May 25, 2009

be a champion


Start the week as a champion, eat grass and then do well.

~ be kind, be good, have a prosperous week ~

Sunday, May 24, 2009

weekend glimpses


Driving past pre-summer fields either velvety green or dandelion yellow. When the sky was clear it was icy blue, when not the fluffy cotton candy shaped clouds were a delight to see leisurely sweeping by above.


Three wonderful hair scarves to join the family of beloved tulip scarf


A slightly decadent but oh so lovely breakfast (more about that later)


in a quaint small town (yes, Sweden has its advantages)


Smooth as glass lakes


This season's Kungsängslilja (fritillaria) - I'm so happy we made it there in time this year! There were a plethora of these tiny beauties looking simply amazing. So of course they'll get their own post later where they can shamelessly pose in beauty


The family of Ruffle, Tousle and Goldilocks is back! Sweeter than ever (and most certainly much more of that later), they totally melt my heart...


I hope your weekend was a grand one ~
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